I was watching the news tonight at TV-Patrol of ABS-CBN. A segment reported by Noli de Castro of a 37 year old elephant in Manila Zoo named Mali. According to the report she is the only remaining elephant in the Philippines, and the group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is requesting the zoo management to send Mali to an Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee in the U.S. The elephant was an orphan at 3 years old, after her mother died in a trapped in Sri Lanka. She was donated by the Sri Lankan government to the Children of Manila and been in Manila Zoo since then. She is a sweet elephant according to the caretaker. He then added that one time a Nun was watching him feeding Mali and asked him why the elephant is alone and that she needs to have a partner to be happy. Then the caretaker replied, "Sister why did you choose to be alone?" The Nun replied "Single Blessedness" then she left him. Noli de Castro was laughing after the report. The caretaker was then asked the same question by Noli, then the caretaker answered (while he was rubbing a Popsicled ice cream on the elephant's mouth) "I think she is happy here".
My opinion: The only reason we have zoos is to cater our curiosity on animals, to educate us about their character, and to free our mind from the myth of reading them on books. I don't agree with some 'OA' logic of PETA but I strongly believe that these animals have born rights to move around like humans. To meet their own kind, to mate and have family of their own unless of course they claim and confirm their single blessedness ^_^. I agree, that the zoo is one way to keep them safe from any harm of their natural habitat but we have no right to enclose them in a small space, defying their freedom in choosing and picking up their own food, and freedom of running on their own limits. I hope that zoo management if they want to keep animals they must see to it that they can emulate 100% of the real settings not obviously enclosed. The caretaker is so unfair to talk in behalf of the animal judging it to be happy where no actual measure of happiness can be gauged. Let us not be too self centered to satisfy our own curiosity on animals. Technology today is an artificial satisfaction. If we want to see them in real, then we have go to the sanctuary not on a confined environment.